n South African Journal of Higher Education - A basic mathematical skills test as predictor of performance at tertiary level

Volume 21, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



A quantitative study was undertaken during 2005 to ascertain the extent to which performance in mathematics and English in the final school year as well as an independent test for the measurement of the extent to which basic mathematical skills had been attained prior to entering the tertiary institution, serve as predictors of whether a student, admitted to a bridging programme in science, engineering and technology, is successful or not during the first semester. The link between having received home language tuition during three stages of schooling and being successful or not in the first semester was also explored. It was shown that the basic mathematical skills test, measuring three theoretical dimensions, namely mathematics language proficiency, problem solving skills as well as computational skills in combination with performance in mathematics at school level significantly contribute towards the prediction of success. No support was found that having received home language tuition contributes towards success.

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